Chelsea v Southampton preview: Antonio Conte chasing final chance to win silverware this season
Last Updated: 22/04/18 10:35am
Southampton stand in the way of Chelsea's final chance to land some silverware this season as the two teams meet in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).
Chelsea lost 2-1 to Arsenal in the FA Cup final last season - so Antonio Conte is still waiting for his first domestic cup success in England.
"A second final in a row would be great for our fans," said Conte.
"It's not my task to judge the season. I have to work and try to transfer my enthusiasm to the team.
"Sometimes I am good, sometimes I am not so good."
Southampton are staring down the barrel of relegation following another draw, this time against Leicester on Thursday.
Saints boss Mark Hughes thinks a break from the pressure cooker of the Premier League could work in his team's favour.
He said: "(Leicester) was a difficult game for us and we need to make sure that the physicality and athleticism is there against the top teams. We won't be making radical changes, but we need to use our resources in the best way we can.
"We are trying to build some momentum and an FA Cup semi-final could be good for us with that in mind."
Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso serves the second game of his three-match ban for violent conduct in Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Southampton.
Danny Drinkwater remains a doubt for the tie at Wembley because of a groin problem.
David Luiz and Ethan Ampadu are sidelined due to respective knee and ankle injuries.
Hughes has confirmed that he has no new injury concerns, however he admitted that some changes to his side are a possibility for a second encounter with the Blues in the space of a week. A game that Chelsea won 3-2 at St Mary's.
Southampton have reached the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time since 2003, when they beat Watford 2-1 en route to losing the final against Arsenal in Cardiff.
Chelsea have progressed to the final from 11 of their last 14 FA Cup semi-final matches, losing out only in 1996, 2006 and 2013.
Saints have won four of their five FA Cup ties against Chelsea, but they did lose the last such meeting 5-1, in the third round of the 2012-13 competition.
In all competitions, Southampton have lost five of their seven previous visits to Wembley, winning the 1976 FA Cup final and 2010 Football League Trophy final.
Since losing 3-1 to Southampton at home in October 2015, Chelsea have gone on to win the following five games against them in all competitions - the London club have never won six in a row against the Saints.
Olivier Giroud has had a hand in 21 goals in his 25 FA Cup appearances (14 goals, seven assists), more than any other player in the competition since his debut in January 2013.
It's harder for Southampton to win the FA Cup now than it would be at the third-round stage. Seriously. You could win this FA Cup by not playing a strong side, but now they've got to beat two top teams - and they're in the bottom three.
They could near-on be relegated by the time they're playing on Sunday. You have to go for it at Wembley, you might as well. If someone said you'll get relegated but win the FA Cup I think the fans would take that. It's not nice watching a team every week that don't win, so why not give it a go.
I think Southampton can bounce back if they go down, but I might be wrong.
I'm going to have to go for a Chelsea win.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-1 (11-1 with Sky Bet)